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Heavy Metal Band Has Prospectus, Looking for Investors

September 4, 1987

CHICAGO (AP) _ The rock band Iron Cross isn’t listed on any stock exchange but members of the heavy metal group - armed with guitars, drums and a 17-page prospectus - are seeking stockholders to help fund their debut album.

″They want to approach this with a business point of view, not just sit in a garage blowing their ears out,″ Mike Konopka, vice president of Seagrape Recording Studios and Iron Cross’ producer, said Thursday. ″Lots of groups get the next rung up the ladder by getting a debut album.″

Iron Cross is popular around Chicago and Detroit, but wants to become known nationally, said Konopka, who has known the band members for five years.

″They are very talented and very popular with the kids,″ said Konopka.

To move up in the music world, the group needs $15,000 for a debut album that would attract the attention of a large recording company, which hopefully would pick up the album and sign the group, explained band leader Rick Stang, who works in a bowling alley.

″I don’t want to work in a bowling alley the rest of my life. I want to play in a band,″ Stang, 23, who plays guitar and writes most of the band’s music, said Thursday in a telephone interview.

The musicians sat down during the spring and wrote a prospectus explaining the music business and outlining the costs of each step of making a record, including promotion and marketing.

″If we just went out and asked for $15,000 to make a record, people would say we were crazy, but by today’s standards, $15,000 is nothing,″ Stang said.

Since the prospectus was finished in June, the group has attracted only two investors, longtime friends of the band members.

″They’re worth investing in,″ said Iron Cross investor Alex Otroszko, a home remodeler. ″These guys want to make it.″

Stockholders, with a total of $15,000 invested, get back 15 percent of any money the band receives from the sales of its first four albums, Stang explained. So, a $1,000 investor would receive 1 percent of the band’s album profits.

Metal futures may be a more typical investment than heavy metal - a loud, raucous form of rock music characterized by lyrics on sex and violence - but their record producer thinks Iron Cross is a good idea for investors.

″The radio stations are playing more and more heavy metal. The market is there,″ said Konopka.

He also said the band’s method of drumming up starter capital is quite novel for the music business.

″I see a lot of bands, and some parents put up the money, but these guys have no sugar daddies,″ he said.

Despite lackluster investor interest, Stang isn’t throwing in the towel.

″We’re short, but we go back into the studio and put more of our own money in it,″ he said. ″It might take two years, but we’re not going to give up.″

Stang does worry that his business-like approach might turn off some of his anti-establishment fans.

″It’s a paradox, but every band has to go through it. You have to be a businessman to make it,″ he said. ″Nobody’s going to support us. You have to live by some rules and the recording companies make the rules.

″But, we aren’t just singing about girls just to get a hit record. We sing about what we feel about,″ Stang said.

Their songs are about motorcycles, death, nuclear war, Vietnam veterans and GIs missing in Southeast Asia.

″We have things to say but we don’t want to preach,″ he said.

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